[ Digital cinema, democratization, and other trends remaking the movies ]

AD: Fans, Friends & Followers

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Brightcove in the Wall Street Journal: A new idea in online video distribution

The Wall Street Journal writes today about the world of online video, and Brightcove specifically.

The biggest idea Brightcove has - and the way it's different from, say, Google Video - is that anyone can become what I call a "video dealer." If you have a site about windsurfing, for instance, you can offer a selection of videos from Brightcove on that topic. If one of your site's visitors chooses to pay to download one of the clips (or simply watches an ad), you get a cut of the revenues.

Peter Grant of the Journal writes:

    Brightcove's technology makes it easy for any producer -- from home-movie buffs to television networks -- to distribute their videos to multitudes of Web sites. All three parties -- the video's maker, the site that shows it and Brightcove -- often will share revenue from the resulting advertisements or sales.

    "You become a little multimedia or cable company yourself," says Kevin Aylward, who runs, a political Web log, or blog. On its homepage is a link to the "Wizbang News Channel" that activates a Brightcove player featuring a choice of 15 Reuters news stories.

    Even in its early days, this business model represents a challenge to the media industry, and an opportunity for entrepreneurs. Once, producers of films, TV shows and video material relied on other big companies -- broadcast networks, cable systems -- to get shows in front of an audience. Now, these new forms of distribution could turn anyone into a producer with a nearly endless array of possible outlets.

    "In the past, content owners had to rely on gatekeepers like cable companies to get to consumers," says Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove's founder, a 34-year-old serial entrepreneur who doubled the value of his baseball-card business when he was a teenager. "Now they don't have to do that."

Allaire calls the concept 'federation': it's friction-free dealmaking, where anyone who likes your content can help you sell it. Could it eventually generate more video plays than a Google or Apple's iTunes Music Store? We'll see.

Barry Diller is on Brightcove's board, and has a small stake in the company. America Online was the biggest investor in the company's latest round of funding.